January/February 2017 Issue
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Taking a Spirit Break
This article was written by Llewellyn
posted under Pagan
|You take coffee breaks; why not take a break from work to refresh your spirit?
One of the major illusions of modern life is that we are our jobs. It isn’t so. We are not our jobs, we are spirits embodied in flesh that perform useful functions in the world. In the Middle Ages, people were born into classes and guilds, and followed their parents into the family trade. They thought they were their “class.” Today, not only can we choose our careers, but most of us will have several different careers over the course of our lifetimes.
Jobs can be deadly or fulfilling. As our spirits grow and change, it is not the new job that changes our destiny, but we ourselves who look for work that will serve the needs of the people we are becoming. But even the best job has moments of drudgery that weigh down the spirit. You can renew your enthusiasm for a good job, and your endurance for a bad one, by taking a “spirit break.”
When your blood sugar is lowest–say, around three o’clock in the afternoon–put down your work. Set your computer on “sleep” and turn off whatever machines you may be using. (Even factories are required to give workers break times at regular intervals.) Open a window or go outside where you can get some fresh air.
Begin by breathing deeply, in and out. Pay attention to the flow of air in and out of your lungs. As you inhale, imagine that you are taking in energy from the universe. When you exhale, give your wastes back to the universe to be recycled. As you breathe, remind yourself that without life-giving oxygen, you will lose consciousness, and all the processes in your body will cease.
Thinking about death wakes you up to what’s important in life. Follow the progress of your breath in and out with reverence–such a small and automatic action that makes so great a difference! Appreciate the fragility of life, and the beauty.
If you have privacy, you can chant the following prayer to the winds; otherwise, say it silently:
I, [name], am calling on the winds,
One the winds of change
One the northern wind
The bringer of souls
Opener of wombs!
Send me lucky winds
To blow my body clean with your breath,
And let me walk in health, wealth, and wisdom. Blessed be!
Now that your blood has been re-oxygenated, have a cup of tea. Use a special cup, one whose shape and texture give you pleasure, not paper or (shudder) styrofoam. Choose jasmine or rose hip tea. Jasmine is aromatic and energizing–it was used by the ancients to counter depression–and rose hip tea is both nutritional and esoteric. When you drink it, you are drinking in the heart of the rose, a symbol of the beauty, life, and wisdom of the Goddess. By drinking its tea, you infuse your body with its magic and get a good shot of Vitamin C as well. This whole process will take about ten minutes, and when you are done you will feel totally rejuvenated.
From Summoning the Fates, by Zsuzsanna E. Budapest
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